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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

OFFICIAL RESULT: SPAR Thembisa Mile tie between Mphahlele and Mokhonoana stands

After just over two weeks of deliberations the final results are in - Ryan Mphahlele and Elvis Mokhonoana's tie at the 2022 SPAR Thembisa Mile will stand. A thrilling finish in the senior men's mile saw the course record holder and defending champion Mphahlele pushed all the way to the finish line by Mokhonoana. Nothing could separate the two athletes so a tie was award. But such is the prestige attached to winning the race that Thembisan Mphahlele refused to accept the tie and officially disputed the result by lodging a protest.


The race referees which are supplied by the local federation Central Gauteng Athletic then met to sort out the matter once and for all, where the jury of adjudication found that in the absence of electronic timing the two runners could not be separated.


THE TIE STANDS: Mphahlele in the orange of the University of Johannesburg and Mokhonoana in the blue of Masai Athletics Club not prepared to give an inch in a thrilling finish at the SPAR Thembisa Street Mile. Photo Credit: Steward photography.

"Due to the speed at which the athletes were running and due to the lack of an electornic timing device which is normally used on the track, the finish judge/referee found it totally impossible to separate the athletes with the naked eye as they hit the tape at almost the same time. The Jury came to the conclusion of placing both athletes in first position," said Chairman of The Jury Norman Letsie in a report sent to CGA.


It means that their joint finishing time of 4:02 will stand with the pair set to share the first (R3000) and second place (R2000) prize purse for R2500 each. As founder and Race Director of one of the most prestigious street mile events in the country, Donald Mathipa says the results of the 30th of October will quicken the march towards incorporating electronic timing in future events.


SPAR Thembisa Mile Founder and Race Director Donald Mathipa says they are considering adding electronic timing to future races. Photo Credit: SPAR Thembisa Mile.

"As much as it will be expensive, but I think that it is something that we should look into. It shows that the competition between the athletes is big. Remember that we have a World Championships which now includes a road mile, so it is time to improve the timing to the finish line video technology similar to what is used in track and field. We look at video technology to separate the winners so it doesn't to take two weeks like was the case. We must work together with our provincial federation so the results can come out on the day on the spot," he said.


The top 10 men and women will receive their SPAR Thembisa Mile prize monies once the race organizers have received the doping results from the South African Institute of Drug Free Sport (SAIDS).

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